"The Walt Disney Company have sent us a message ... that they can take whatever they want. Well, we will send them a message that this theme park ... this is our land!"
In a bold move, Disney has acquired the rights from 20th Century Fox to create attractions at their many theme parks around the globe based on "Avatar," a.k.a. the most successful movie of all time. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company will announce its new acquisition later today, and will partner with Fox and franchise creator James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment to set up the first such attractions at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The director, who is hard at work on two film sequels, will be heavily involved.
From Variety: "James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible," said Disney President-CEO Robert Iger. "With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James' talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney."
This is a remarkable deal since the company has only previously gone outside its own properties with George Lucas for "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones"-themed rides. We imagine the company is already investing heavily in blue body paint that will adorn minimum wagers walking around the various parks taking pictures with little children.
No specifics have been given about the rides they're planning, but we imagine there will be simulators where you'll get to enjoy bulldozing trees, imposing your American culture on peaceful Na'vi tribes, and decimating indigenous populations of Pandora. It worked for Hong Kong Disneyland! Or, perhaps we missed the point of the film…